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FAA imposing additional requirements for Baltimore-Washington, D.C. airspaceFAA imposing additional requirements for Baltimore-Washington, D.C. airspace

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In response to the increased threat level announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the FAA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are imposing additional restrictions on the airspace in the national capital area. These were announced in a conference call with AOPA and other representatives from the general aviation community conducted by FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and TSA Chief Operating Officer Admiral John Shkor. The specific details are contained in four separate notices to airmen (notams) released late Saturday evening; the restrictions go into effect on Monday morning 0600 local.

The biggest notam establishes an " air defense identification zone" that approximately covers the lateral limits of the Baltimore-Washington Class B airspace and a 30-nm extension to the south of the DCA VOR, from the surface to 18,000 feet msl. Inside of this area, all aircraft will be required to be operating on a flight plan, squawking a discrete transponder code, and in two-way communication with air traffic control. All flight plans should be filed on the ground, although "air-files" will be permitted. General aviation Part 91 operations continue to be prohibited within the Washington special flight rules area (SFAR 94) within 15 nm of DCA. This notam affects operations at 23 public-use airports (and several private airports) home to more than 2,400 based aircraft. There are more than 910,000 annual operations from these airports.

A second notam cancels any current waivers for operations in this area and SFAR 94. The notam requires that new waivers be obtained before resuming operations, including electronic news gathering and international arrival waivers. The only exception is for the waiver holders for operations into and out of the Maryland "DC3" airports (College Park, Hyde Field, and Potomac Airpark).

A third notam to address the current "DC3" waiver holders takes effect on Monday at 6 a.m. and requires that authorized operations in and out of the "DC3" be subject to more onerous security procedures. Aircraft, crew, and passengers will be subject to security screening by TSA prior to departing. Arrivals will be required to first land at Lee Airport (ANP), which is the "gateway" airport outside of the SFAR airspace for screening prior to landing at the "DC3." The details of these procedures are still being worked out.

"While it is imperative that pilots comply with these new restrictions that are being imposed based on security concerns, it is equally important that the FAA provide accurate guidance and information to pilots," said Phil Boyer, AOPA President. AOPA staff stressed this earlier today in a telephone conversation with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and TSA COO Admiral John Shkor. Too often there has been a failure by the FAA to adequately inform pilots of security airspace restrictions. "This is simply not acceptable."

In addition to the Washington-area airspace restrictions, a fourth notam will take effect Monday that rescinds all waivers to the sporting event notam (2/0199). This means that banner towers may not operate over stadiums that have a seating capacity of 30,000 or more in which a major sporting event is occurring.

Airports within the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone

Airport ID Name City State Clearance
00B South River SPB EDGEWATER MD 866/429-5882
09W South Capitol Street Heliport WASHINGTON DC 866/429-5882
0V5 Whitman Strip MANASSAS VA 866/429-5882
1W5 Wolf ELSERSBURG MD 866/429-5882
2W5 Maryland INDIAN HEAD MD 866/429-5882
3W3 Kentmorr STEVENSVILLE MD 866/429-5882
ANP Lee ANNAPOLIS MD 866/429-5882
BWI Baltimore-Washington International BALTIMORE MD 118.05
CGS College Park COLLEGE PARK MD 866/429-5882
DCA Reagan Wash. National WASHINGTON, D.C. DC 128.25
FME Tipton FORT MEADE(ODENTON) MD 866/429-5882
GAI Montgomery County Airpark GAITHERSBURG MD 121.60
HEF Manassas Regional/Harry P. Davis Field MANASSAS VA 120.20
IAD Washington Dulles International WASHINGTON DC 135.70
JYO Leesburg Executive LEESBURG VA 118.55
MTN Martin State BALTIMORE MD 121.80
VKX Potomac Airfield FRIENDLY MD 866/429-5882
W00 Freeway MITCHELLVILLE MD 866/429-5882
W18 Suburban LAUREL MD 866/429-5882
W29 Bay Bridge STEVENSVILLE MD 866/429-5882
W32 Washington Executive/Hyde Field CLINTON MD 866/429-5882
W48 Essex BALTIMORE MD 866/429-5882
W50 Davis LAYTONSVILLE MD 866/429-5882


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